Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Danko Jones - Fire Music (2015)

The Canadian trio Danko Jones have entertained us for almost 20 years with their easily melted rock and roll. With clean riffs and sing along friendly melodies, the band has become one of the more common sights in the mainstream rock radio scene, which is the main reason to why the band have become so popular. Whenever I party with my friends, I can be sure to hear "Had Enough" and "Just A Beautiful Day" sometime during the evening. So when the band releases a new album, I try to picture myself at some shabby apartment in the middle of the Saturday night, feeling buzzed after a couple of beers, just to get in the right mood.

There is really no surprise that Danko Jones's music works so well with the party atmosphere, something that "Fire Music" demonstrates very well. Not only are there songs about partying, doing drugs and joining bar fights, but the music is so intoxicating that it makes everyone happy. So what is it with this music that makes it so groovy? It is mostly the clean riffs and the shear drive that drives the listener crazy, but that would have not been possible without the main man Danko's passion and power. His unique voice and drive gives the album at least two more dimensions than what it would have without him.

Some songs in "Fire Music" do have the potential to become new fan favourites, like the dangerous "Piranha", the groovy "The Twisting Knife", and the rocking "Do You Wanna Rock". And even if "Fire Music" is a fine stand alone piece in the Danko Jones discography, it is obvious that the band has just refined already used methods. You can definitely hear that "Body Bags" have borrowed some traits from "Had Enough", but it does not make the song any worse, it just shows that the band has found a sound that fits them like a glove.

The band does show a good amount of variation in this album, which is directly necessary to not make the band a one trick pony. Unfortunately, most of these other tricks are either weird or just not really fitting the band that well. The bluesy ballad "I Will Break Your Heart" makes me sleepy while the hill billy tune "Watch You Slide" is only fitting in some Starsky and Hutch car chase (still a fun song though). Then we have "Getting Into Drugs" which just blows my mind. The lyrics makes me confused over if it is for or against drugs and Danko himself sounds like Jack Black. It still does have its charm and a small hint of comedy ("Don't care who likes it 'cause I'm 10 feet tall/I wanna save the world and fuck in toilet stalls"), but it is just too weird of a song. I bet they were on drugs when writing it.

"Fire Music" is another fine album by the Canadians, but something in me says that the band can, and will not do anything more than this. They are happy with the kind of quality they are holding up with and have no idea to really go for that perfect score. They are skilled, so they might do a perfect album some time in the future, but it will not happen if they continue to put out albums like this one. Fortunately, they are a hell of a live band, and I am sure the fans will appreciate the songs from this album that will fit into their set list in their upcoming tour, and also in some before and after party in some shabby big city apartment, playing from a computer.

Songs worthy of recognition: Do You Wanna Rock, The Twisting Knife, She Ain't Coming Home

Rating: 7,5/10 Piranhas

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